Patience and reward

Aurora borealis

Nature photographers have to be patient. Nature doesn’t always do what one hopes and especially not at the times that you want. But sometimes it can be pretty frustrating. At the moment I’m in Spitsbergen, enjoying the Arctic in winter. High my wish list are Reindeer, Spitsbergen Ptarmigan and Arctic Fox, all in a winter coat of course. Other, more celestial things on my list are the Northern lights and, of course, the complete solar eclipse. Spitsbergen is actually a little bit too far north for the Aurora borealis, but it was still worth a try.

It was a little frustration however that on Tuesday I saw the solar activity meters run sky-high, knowing that a solar storm this big would probably mean I would get many messages from the Netherlands about Aurora’s there, but I wouldn’t see anything. And indeed, so it happened. Happy of course for the people back home, but really jealous of course. However, the next day it was my turn. When I was about to go to bed, people walked in saying there was nice Aurora’s overhead. The grey clouds we had during the day were replaced by green ones, dancing through the sky. Quickly I got my camera and tripod out to try to make a few pictures. The bright displays were really short but long enough to make a few nice pictures. Some of the displays were bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, for others you needed a camera to make them stand out like this.

Now let’s see what the rest of the trip will bring…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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